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A Treasure Trove of Fiery Jewish Women Labor Activists

This summer, Talia Lang was an intern for both JWA and Lilith. In this piece, which ran on Lilith on August 30, 2018, Talia writes about the history of longstanding and passionate labor activism among Jewish women.

The directory of Jewish female labor activists is endless, from the better-known to the nearly invisible.

Many of these women are unknown outside of academic circles, their letters and speeches languishing in dusty academic archives. [This] Labor Day, here is a list of Jewish female labor activists you never knew, or never knew were Jewish, or never knew said that, or never knew did that.

In 1908, Muller v. Oregon limited the female workday to 10 hours. The winning side of the case was supported by the Brandeis Brief, which set forth data about women overworked in factories. The 100-plus pages of the legal brief were compiled largely by Pauline and Josephine Goldmark, Lillian Wald, and Florence Kelley in the span of two weeks, following years of research.


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More on: Labor,
Rose Schneiderman
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Rose Schneiderman speaking at a union rally, circa 1910s. 
Courtesy of Brown Brothers
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How to cite this page

Lang, Talia. "A Treasure Trove of Fiery Jewish Women Labor Activists." 2 September 2018. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on November 15, 2018) <>.


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